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Mission Statement

ExtortionLetterInfo.com (ELI) is dedicated to reporting¬† information and providing commentary on Getty Images (and other stock photo) Settlement Demand Letters. ELI is a privately-owned and privately-managed website. Every effort is made to provide factual information and professional opinions regarding Getty Images’ (and the respective companies’) “practice” of issuing “Settlement Letters” that we consider “legalized extortion”.

As Lead Contributors of this website, we believe what they are doing is technically legal but ethically and morally questionable. “The Letter” bullies and preys upon the legal ignorance of the letter recipients. This website attempts to discover, report, and comment on the facts in a civil and orderly way. This website also provides assistance in defending unaware and unintended victims of this Letter.

There are two sides to every story and disagreement. Recipients of the Letter know Getty Images side. This website will assemble the stories and legal arguments of “the other side”. We trust this website will be both helpful and beneficial to you.

Sincerely,

Matthew Chan & Oscar Michelen


Why is This Being Called “Legalized Extortion” and an “Extortion Letter Scheme”?

This is a descriptive and colloquial term for Getty Images’ deliberate, malicious, bullying, and presumptuous letter campaign that engages in what is tantamount to legalized extortion. The letter in its entirety is both well-worded and well-constructed. It has been clearly been well thought out. Because of the deliberate construction and planning that goes into this letter campaign, it qualifies as a Scheme.

The Letter automatically presumes guilt of the recipient. The letter recipient is expected to provide proof of their innocence. In effect, the letter recipient is presumed guilty unless they prove their innocence.

Although the letter does provide for the possibility that the letter recipient was unaware and unintended of the alleged infringement, the Letter takes a heavy-handed and unforgiving approach of stating that they are responsible for all alleged “damages and liability”. The Letter automatically presumes Getty Images has been “damaged” whether or not that is actually true or proven.

Because this scheme relies heavily on the letter recipients ignorance of due legal process and people’s inherent fear of legal conflict as a result of that ignorance, it is considered by many as legalized extortion.

Given the overall assessment of the situation, the term “legalized extortion” was coined to better describe Getty Images very aggressive letter campaign.

 

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Matthew Chan Headshot

My Case by Matthew Chan (ELI Founder)

My name is Matthew Chan. I am an independent publisher and business author who was unwillingly drawn into this fiasco. As someone who respects copyrights and adamantly opposed to copyright infringements, I have no problems with someone defending their copyrights. However, there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way to handle things. I admit …

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Oscar Michelen’s Getty Images Defense Letter Program

Last updated: 3/9/2012 (Changes and expansion to this Defense Letter program was made in March 9, 2012.) Dear Readers: Let me explain what I have been doing and why. I am a seasoned litigator in NYC and was brought into this issue by Matthew Chan, the founder of this website, who was an independent publisher …

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Getting Help With Your Extortion Letter

Since 2008, we’ve had thousands of readers discover the ELI website and ELI Forums after they have received a Getty Images (or other stock photo) “extortion letter”. Many have attempted to contact us through phone and email asking for help. Early on, we tried to help but eventually there were too many requests for help …

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2012 Update & Expansion of Attorney Oscar Michelen’s Defense Letter Program

I am happy to announce the 2012 Update & Expansion of Attorney Oscar Michelen’s Defense Letter Program. The has taken two weeks of back and forth of coordinated discussions between myself, Oscar, and his office manager, Susan to ensure the various pieces came together correctly. Oscar and Susan have streamlined their law office operations to …

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Matthew Chan Pose

ELI Phone Support Call with Matthew Chan

For years, I provided free information and commentary through the ELI Forums and ELI Video updates. During this time, I encouraged people to do their own research here and get their information for free. However, no matter how many times I said this, people would continue to call and email me wanting my help. I …

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